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Configure the VM’s on the farm to delay boot after the AD domain controller VM’s by like 15 minutes

My boss just emailed me with the following request;

"Configure the VM’s on the farm to delay boot after the AD domain controller VM’s by like 15 minutes.
Then, configure the cas servers to boot 15 minutes after the mailbox server boots"

I am not sure how to approach this...is this something I can do within vSphere? Or perhaps this is strictly going to be a Windows Active directy funcution? Our WINDOWS Domain Controllers are running Windows 2003. All advice to get my started would be appreciated

Thanks
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Thor2923
Asked:
Thor2923
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1 Solution
 
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
When does the timer start from ESX host server startup, you can change Startup parameters in the Host, Configuration options, but NOT if use HA.
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Thor2923Author Commented:
hmm not sure I follow you....do I need to log into the actual ESXi box or can I find when the timer starts in VSPHERE?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
"Configure the VM’s on the farm to delay boot after the AD domain controller VM’s by like 15 minutes.
Then, configure the cas servers to boot 15 minutes after the mailbox server boots"


Delay Boot When? After what happens?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You can Start and Stop Virtual Machines After the ESX Host Boots?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Virtual Machine Startup
You can specify a startup order of Virtual Machines, when the host ESXI server boots.

If this is helpful, but how often are you booting your servers!?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Auto Start and Shutdown Virtual Machines

Just log into your ESX server using the vSphere GUI Client, click on the host, then click the Configuration tab. In the 'Software' box, click the Virtual Machine Startup/Shutdown link. In the upper right click Properties.

http://www.vmadmin.co.uk/vmware/35-esxserver/111-esxautostartstop

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_26874904.html
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
it can be done by vSphere or ESX host configuration, if you BOSS means at ESXi startup, any other time, eg not at host startup, you would have to script it.
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morpheiosCommented:
You can set VMWare service to "Manual start mode". And then add to you AD controller in sheduler startup script which start  VMWare service.
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Thor2923Author Commented:
Thanks everyone, I will get back to this question in a day or so, right now I am about to post another question on moving adding a new host to our current farm..as always, all input is greatly appreciated...thanks
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Thor2923Author Commented:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Maybe this was posted in wrong question!
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Thor2923Author Commented:
oh shoooooooot!!! yea wrong question..thnaks
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Thor2923Author Commented:
ahhh ok back to this project...thanks for the advice on storage, moving VMs, etc...this is all a result of a major crash we had at our COLO....EVERYTHING went down hard! We got texts from out COLO saying something like "BTW power is out here, generators did not flip on properly and you will probably loose power in 15 minutes when the UPS's run out...obviously this was not a good day or good week. We normally do not just power down or reboot...I will read all your advice and links if get back if I run into troubles...thanks
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Thor2923Author Commented:
ok i rereading everything and knowing all the happened and emailing my boss, it looks like we have the following situation;

1. We have a VMWARE 4.1 farm, with 4 hosts.
2. We recently had a bad case scenerio crash, where our COLO lost all power and we went down hard before we could drive down and do anything about it.
3. Upon booting back up, we had issues for a day or so because of the way everything came up, syncing issues, etc
4. My boss wants a delay, so when we go down hard like that AD's power up first, get synced for a few minutes, then bring up most of the VMs. After most everything is up, including the mail server, he wants the CAS servers to start up. so the entire thing will take 40 or 45 minutes and after our recent crash I have to agreee, the short delay may be worth it if we go without so many headaches.

I wil check your notes about VPSHPERE/configuration/software/virtual machine startup/shudown   and see what I can come up with. Thanks for all the info and if you want to throw anything else in feel free. I am come to the point where I take everthing you say about vmware as the gospel!!..thanks
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
The easiest way to do this, would be to Autostart ADs VMs First with the Host Servers. e.g. they would be priority to startup first.

But you CANNOT use those function if using HA!

To be honest, we and our clients DO NOT do this. We have written procedures in PLACE, as to what needs to be started first and checked is up and running.

e.g.

1. Network Switches
2. iSCSI SAN is up and initialized
3. ESX Hosts are started, and SAN paths are available
4. DC's are started, which ones, in which order
5. Other services etc
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Thor2923Author Commented:
we tried to do this, brought up our switches first, then our SAN, then the VM hosts,,,,,Switches and SAN were up when we powered on our 4 hosts....that what the issue, the DCs are on the virutual farm and all the devices on the farm apparently came up in a random order....we definetly use HA, I will need to check into another source or better procedure...thanks
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Thor2923Author Commented:
what if turned off "connect at startup" on all the NICs but the DCs? That would bring up the DC's first then let us manually bring up the rest as we wanted to?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It is not recommended by VMware, to use Auto Startup with HA.

That's an option, but messy, if you forget to go around all the VMs.
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Thor2923Author Commented:
hmmm wel after our crash, everything powered up by itself...how can I turn this off? I assume we are using autostartup
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It's possible check it.
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Thor2923Author Commented:
Ok I have been through our vmware vsphere and highlighted one of the hosts, whent to CONFIGURATION/SOFTWARE/virtual machine startupshutdown/properties and see where to "allow virtual machiens to start up automatically" I see where to move VMs up and down the list from Manual Startup, ANy order and Automatic startup. I see where to adjust the time delays on startup and how I could make the DCs start first. I was reading vmware stuff all day yesterday, but you seem to know the most. I just have 2 bottom line questions that I need to report to my boss.

1. Right now all HOSTS have "allow virtual machines to start and stop automatically with system" unchecked. Does that mean if we have a similar COLO crash, no VMs will start up when we get power back and physically turn on the host servers? Even if NIC cards are set to "connect on power on"?

2. Now that I see how I can configure a startup order, is it "not possible" to use HA or not "recommended" by vmware?

I will need to explain to my boss why I recommend  we just stick to a written manual procedure instead of going with his direction to automate the startup. If you can point me to a vmware article explaining HA and why autostart does not work weill with it, I would appreciate it....as always thanks for all you help...you have helped me so much, I feel like I should send you something....do you happened to like cigars? wine? Johnny Walker?? haha
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
1. Right now all HOSTS have "allow virtual machines to start and stop automatically with system" unchecked. Does that mean if we have a similar COLO crash, no VMs will start up when we get power back and physically turn on the host servers? Even if NIC cards are set to "connect on power on"?

If unchecked, NO Virtual Machines will start or stop with the host. That is correct.

2. Now that I see how I can configure a startup order, is it "not possible" to use HA or not "recommended" by vmware?


It's not recommended by VMware. See Page 22 of the following document Creating HA Clusters.

NOTE The Virtual Machine Startup and Shutdown (automatic startup) feature is disabled for all virtual
machines residing on hosts that are in (or moved into) a VMware HA cluster. Automatic startup is not
supported when used with VMware HA.


VMware vSphere Availability Guide ESX 4.1vSphere
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp_41_availability.pdf

If you are using VMware HA, use the Virtual Machine Options, VM Restart Priority in the Cluster. (Edit the Cluster VMware HA Options)

I would highly recommend the following reading material on the subject of HA, by fellow VMware vEXPERTS Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman. We've got copies on our shelves and on our iPads, there so much to learn, about HA and DRS.

VMware vSphere 4.1 HA and DRS Technical deepdive (Volume 1)

By Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman

(http://www.yellow-bricks.com/vmware-high-availability-deepdiv/)

ISBN-10: 1456301446
ISBN-13: 978-1456301446

Written by Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman, both of whom are Consulting Architects at VMware and are perceived by the industry as Subject Matter experts on VMware High Availability and VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler.
This book zooms in on two key components of every VMware based infrastructure. It covers the basic steps needed to create a VMware HA and DRS cluster, and goes on to explain the concepts and mechanisms behind HA and DRS which will enable you to make well educated decisions. You will get the tools to understand and implement e.g. HA admission control policies, DRS resource pools and resource allocation settings and more.

On Amazon US
[Paperback]
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1456301446?ie=UTF8&tag=yellowbricks20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1456301446

[ebook]
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004V49JGW/ref=as_li_tf_til?tag=yellowbricks20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=B004V49JGW&adid=0ED4RKK85G6ZTGTH9ENP

on Amazon UK
[Paperback]
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vmware-Vsphere-4-1-Technical-Deepdive/dp/1456301446/ref=sr_1_2ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1305637596&sr=8-2

[ebook]
http://www.amazon.co.uk/VMware-vSphere-4-1-technical-deepdive/dp/B004V49JGW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=digitaltext&qid=1305637596&sr=8-1

Available in Europe from
http://www.comcol.nl/detail/73133.htm


as always thanks for all you help...you have helped me so much, I feel like I should send you something....do you happened to like cigars? wine? Johnny Walker?? haha


thanks for your kinds words, we don't smoke, but drink yes!

See contact details in EE profile here!
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